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Campus Video Surveillance

The Use Of Security Cameras On College Campuses In An Age Of Insanity


EDITORIAL by andy Wendt POSTED 04/19/2007

In the days immediately following the 2007, April 16th tragedy at Virginia Tech we at received several calls from reporters and news organizations that all searched in vain for any statistics that related to campus violence and video surveillance. As of course one of the first details to emerge that day included the fact that Virginia Tech had no campus wide video surveillance system in place.

Although that fact is still some what of a shock in today’s world it was quickly pointed out by one of the campus officials that a surveillance system would have done nothing to "prevent" this tragedy. Unfortunately I have to say on that one point they are right.

Video Surveillance Systems can benefit a campus in a number of ways. They can deter crime, or youthful shenanigans, they can help provide evidence critical to the apprehension of suspects, they can provide invaluable live data to emergency response personnel at the moment of crisis but they can not deter or prevent the "insanity" that happened April 16th at Virginia Tech.

For it can easily be argued that what happened in Virginia that day was not a crime but shear madness. An act so senseless it could only be carried out by the most mental ill or evil among us who inevitably slip though societies safety nets once every hundred years. An anathema so bent on destruction that it will not be stopped until the insanity has come full circle and lies amongst the innocent victims.

From my view of this world I do not see that surveillance systems will never prevent such an act but what if it had gone on longer? What if the gunman went into hiding only to emerge again minutes later to kill a dozen more students? If that were the case would the lack of a surveillance system that could have easily tracked the gunman’s location and reported it to the police be such a non issue for the campus security to explain away?

Though there is only one “person” responsible for this tragedy I think that all of us including our largest institutions need to remember: “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing”.

If we as a society continue to put finances and concerns for civil liberties ahead of our need for video surveillance, if we continue to be afraid of allowing the most decent and trusted amongst us to defend themselves, if we continue to deny that such horrors could ever happen to us or our loved ones, then in effect we will continue to do nothing and it is just a matter of time, if only for a matter of life shattering minutes, until such insanity will again return and possibly succeed.

Click here to read more about Security Cameras in Schools.

Andy Wendt
Network and Security Consultant
Helping Businesses Manage Technology
Toll Free: 800-440-1662 x226